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What happens to your license with a traffic offense or DWI?

Like many other people, you might take your driving privileges for granted. You use your vehicle at any time to get where you want to go.

In fact, you might not realize just how much of a privilege your driver's license is until after a conviction for a traffic offense or DWI. What are some of the penalties you could face?

Attending a hearing

When law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, events transpire quickly. One step you must take following your arrest is to schedule an arraignment. Your attorney will appear in court before the hearing and work with the prosecutor. If the case is not going to trial, the attorneys may negotiate reduced penalties for your case. Once you schedule the hearing, you are eligible to receive a provisional license.

Receiving a suspension

If the court finds you guilty of a traffic offense, it will forward the notice of your conviction to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. DDS will impose additional penalties, if warranted, and place the conviction on your driving record. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest and conviction, the Department may suspend your driving privileges.

Getting a limited driving permit

In certain situations, you could obtain a limited driving permit from DDS, which you could use during the suspension period. There is a fee, and the DDS will put restrictions on your reasons for driving and your destinations. The DDS will allow:

  • Driving to your place of employment
  • Attending classes at a school or college
  • Keeping medical appointments or obtaining prescribed drugs
  • Transporting unlicensed, immediate family members to work, to school or to obtain prescriptions and medical care
  • Attending sessions for alcohol treatment
  • Attending a driver education program
  • Reporting for probation or community supervision
  • Reporting to perform community service
  • Attending programs per the order of an accountability court judge

Looking ahead

Although you must follow a judge's orders, keep in mind that DDS can also specify the destinations to which you can drive and even the routes and times of travel. With a restricted license, you can still get around in your vehicle, but with a limited amount of freedom.

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